As Competitors Go—Bisheff Was The Best

By T.J. Simers

I did not agree with a word written by Register sports columnist Steve Bisheff.

But every budding sport writer should study and emulate Bisheff, who was the consummate pros pro.

I hear he died Wednesday and I only wish he could have written his own obit giving me the chance to critique it before he left us. What a wonderful argument that would have made.

I read his final column at the Orange County Register written years ago only because one of his colleagues referred to it so much in his tribute to Bisheff. He covered it all, as Bisheff noted, and what a career it was.

He had a fantastic feel for sports history and was a solid reporter writing as a columnist. And he had lots and lots of opinions giving him the ammunition to survive for more than 40 years as a noted voice in southern California.

He wrote about the Chargers and so did I, but our paths never crossed on the beat. He worked at the Register as did I, but he had retired by the time I made my brief appearance at the newspaper.

But we collided so many times on the same sports stories while I was at the LA Times, and he was a giant. He wasn’t my idea of what a sports columnist should be, and I certainly wasn’t his. But that’s what made the profession so great for so many years, writers offering differing viewpoints with clashing styles and willing to almost come to blows to defend their approaches.

I would never have gone to dinner with Bish, although it would have been a way to make sure I knew where he was and not have to worry about him beating me on a story. He was a super newspaperman.

Bish gave it everything he had when writing a sports column, and while I would have cut 12 inches out of most of his work, he would have scoffed at that. He was after all, a staunch believer in telling the story, the whole story no matter how boring I might have considered it,

He wrote often like a serious sports fan, and while some might consider him old school because of that, that was a mighty fine school. He cared, he showed up in person to learn more about what he was writing and then offered an educated opinion.

He was also a USC fan, and so he had his faults.

But he might have been the most timeliest columnist in southern California, and I wish he was here to tell me if “most timeliest” makes any sense. But I know this, if USC won a big game, readers woke up knowing they would learn more by reading Bish.

Too often now we get columnists rifting from home about things wandering around in their own heads rather than seeing up close and personal what is happening in the sports world. If it just happened, Bish would have something to say about it. He was dependable; newspapers no longer are and I wonder if Bish might have finally agreed with me on something?

I never met his family as Bish and I were really competitors and that’s how it worked for the most part in our profession. But I’m sure it’s an outstanding and loving family knowing how solid he was as a pro and a competitor.

I’m also sure he left them a million great memories to relive, so many written words to ponder again and maybe even Pete Carroll’s explanation why he didn’t have Regie Bush on the field on fourth down against Texas.

I’d like to see how Bish, the USC honk, handled that, and you know what I’m really saying: The sports world was a better place with Bisheff in it.

Another Malibu at Mandalay

By T.J. Simers

I’m sitting in the Mandalay Bay sports book with my daughter.

As mouthy as she can be, the attraction is really the daughter, the two of us getting together almost 20 years here to be the first 48 games of March Madness. The daughter picks Grand Canyon, I take Gonzaga and so you can see a fther’s jo of educating never stops.

We spend four days together, point spreads, fried lunch, Malibu and Coke and because we wager, they give us four comp nights to use next year, Mandalay Bay making sure we will return to make our annual donation. Isn’t America great?

I prefer to think the casino folks just love to bring father and daughters together rather than using this as some sort of cheap trick to get into my 401K.

They even have a nice guy named mike, who runs the sports book and who makes sure we enjoy losing. I get the impression Mike would do this for anyone.

The big deal, of course, is spending such time with the daughter, who has never been arrested. I’m such a proud father.

She’s accomplished a few other things as well. She’s still employed and still single. She thinks we’re here to bet, but I thought this would be the place to troll for a husband, maybe find a guy who likes to gamble, drink and hang out with her dad in the future.

By the way, I highly recommend having daughters,, especially the ones who grow up and agree to spend four days with you every year in Vegas. How many parents get the chance to just hang with their kids when their kids are almost 50? It’s living the life.

I was there in the delivery room when she made her first appearance and I have to say it’s been a wonderful relationship ever since. She makes good money so she gives great Christmas presents and uses her own money to be on Grand Canyon.

Can you say the same about your daughter? Look at her? Where did you go wrong?

As for the March Madness experience in Vegas, are you telling me work is better than this. The thrill of Thursday’s opening tip at 9:15 in the morning is still with me—-not nearly as much as some guy from San Diego State being allowed to shoot free throws while the game has ended and covering the 5 1/2 point spread.

There was some guy here screaming to call the FBI and investigate, figuring the fix was in. I immediately told the daughter to ask him if he was available for dinner?

I highly recommend trying this experience, having a daughter and going to Vegas. Right now she is screaming “Izzo,” bless her heart, and I don’t have the meanness in me to tell her the shrimp isn’t playing. I just figure it’s time to cut off the Malibu—-here at 9:30.

Who Goofed? The Chargers of course

By T.J. Simers

Thank God Alex Spanos is dead.

Or, last night’s game would have just killed him and we would have had to pause for a second to mourn him today.

The Spanos Goofs legacy is alive and well, everything the father and son touching turning to defeat, including their nonsensical move to Los Angeles to become second-class citizens.

How do you lose a playoff game when you have been gifted with a 27-0 lead and on the road and with only a little more than a half to play? Every team’s dream.

But the Goofs have a history of disappointing — my daughter saying in a phone call last night when the score was 27-7 in favor of the Chargers they would lose. She was raised right, learning the truisms in sports like Bill Belichick will respond to a long-winded question with a one-word answer.

Do we blame the coach for this embarrassing loss? Yes. He took the Chargers’ job.

He calls the defensive plays, and he calls the offensive plays, which makes him more in control than most head coaches, so who else is there to blame? Someone is going to take the blame because blowing a 27-0 lead is epic. And entertaining, (I wouldn’t fire him for that reason alone.)

But how about the saps who live in San Diego, so sad today? The former sports editor of the San Diego Union-Tribune sent out a tweet of shock when the referee tossed a flag on a mouthy Charger last night. Still rooting for a team that has only disappointed the San Diego faithful.

Alex Spanos, who remained living in Stockton when he was owner of the Chargers, used to call Chargers’ fans, “my fans.” At the risk of speaking for all fans in San Diego they were not fans of the Goofs who would ultimately take away the hometown team.

I don’t know what karma is but I think the Chargers have it bad.

But there is something to be said about the buffoons, ala the Washington Generals, who now call Los Angeles home. They can be counted on to play the role of stooges.

You want them back now? Well, they’ve got nothing to do over the next few months.

Killing a dog, the very best friend

By T.J. Simers

Nixon was the very best dog, loyal and loving, and not his fault he was named Nixon.

The daughter owned Kennedy, so Nixon it was. He was a nine-year-old, 93-pound white lab, who loved hearing the leash but could walk anywhere without it and not get in trouble.

He walked into the vet’s office this week and didn’t come out. We had to put Nixon down, and I wish I had been stronger and stayed with him, but I could not. My wife remained with him.

He was playing Monday with our other dog, the schizoid Rona, short for Coronavirus and monster, bought because she was also a white lab who grew up to be a whippet and a monster. She had puppy strangles, Parvo, her jaw fractured and survived.

Nixon didn’t eat his food and we had to put him down. They called it “hemangiosarcoma of the spleen,” and said it’s quite common. He was fine Monday, catatonic on Tuesday, better on Wednesday and had to be as surprised as we were that he would never see Thursday.

The tumors got him, and they said maybe surgery would help but just for weeks. There is no way Nixon was going to feel pain; that was left to us to absorb.

Rona now walks around wailing and looking for Nixon and it was tough enough explaining “sit” to her, so no way she understands Nixon leaving and not coming back. I’m struggling a little with it, too, Nixon not there like always when I woke up to pet him like every other morning.

Rona was with the wife this morning, probably hearing that I wasn’t there in the end for Nixon.

We’ll work our way through all that, while remembering Nixon waiting at the front threshold for permission to come outside and Rona already long gone down the street. He loved walking with me and the trash cans to set them out for the garbage trucks; now I might never again take out the trash again to honor him.

He once took down a neighborhood dog charging at my wife, grabbing the dog by the throat and laying down the threat on the street—no one getting hurt. Rona, the monster, is the puppy but dropped an alpha personality on Nixon from the start and Nixon took it without even a growl.

He was absolutely the best friend.

He deserved better than what he got this week but reading all the heartfelt stories online about the number of dog owners impacted by hemangiosarcoma, that’s just the way it goes. So, it’s onward with Rona, and “sit, Rona, sit. Sit. Come on….please.”

Oh boy, Nixon.

Bauer & McVay: Why are we the last to know?

By T.J. Simers

I have no idea what I am writing about, although I would if I was working the story.

That’s an indictment of the LA Times and its inability to tell us the inside story when it is time to read the inside story.

It’s like the recent Trevor Bauer story, the Dodgers going to the Friday deadline to keep or release Bauer and the Times’ baseball writers apparently clueless to tell us what was happening. Inexcusable, making the LA Times useless.

I remember when Plaschke was a Times’ beat reporter covering the Dodgers, and Dylan Hernandez later followed to do the same job. They were superb, two bulldogs who would never have left Times’ readership uninformed. It has a large part to do with why they were promoted to columnists.

To this day Plaschke and Hernandez are called upon to reach key officials with the teams in town because the beat reporters don’t have the contacts to properly report a story. There might be some truth to the fact that people are more responsive to Plaschke and Hernandez because they are opinion makers, but the truth is Plaschke and Hernandez did a better job of cultivating sources while they were beat men.

The decline in quality leadership within the Times’ sports department has allowed this slippage in beat personnel to cheat Times’ readers from reading a first-rate newspaper.

The list of legendary beat men and women working in the Times’ sports section is, well, legendary. Not anymore.

Now we have the Rams’ head coach John McVay holding football fans hostage with his angst, or whatever reason it is that it’s not a foregone conclusion he’s returning.

The reason, of course, is that Times’ beat reporters have failed to do their jobs, one of their prime responsibilities to get to know the people on their beats better than anyone else in the country. They spend hours and hours with the Dodgers and Rams and yet they appear to know just as much as you and I, which is nothing.

How impersonal, and journalism has always been very very personal. I spent hours talking to Chuck Knox at the end of a day in the media room at Rams Park in Anaheim, talking about his kids, my kids and other reporters couldn’t understand why I thought Knox was such a personable guy.

Rams’ executive John Shaw, who orchestrated the team’s move to St. Louis, would speak to me regularly, often in the Rams offices on Pico in Los Angeles. That’s where I met and talked with owner Georgia Frontiere. The other reporters on the Rams beat openly griped about the favoritism Shaw and Frontiere were apparently showing, yet Frontiere was standing on the practice field less than 100 yards from where the media were seating for photo day and not one of them made a move to go out there and talk to her.

Like any profession, sometimes laziness is far too prevalant.

McVay is 36, seems personable from afar, but why aren’t the Times’ writers telling us what is going on with the guy? It’s not like they are trying to get something out of Belichick.

Why is someone talented enough take his team to the Super Bowl twice, at such a young age, already even considering such a career change? That’s something you come to learn or discuss in October, December or the last time there was noise about him going into a TV booth.

Where’s the insight? Whatever the Times is paying these guys it’s too much because you are not getting your money’s worth.

I really liked Knox, and came to know many of the coaches, GMs, players and owners in the same way. It was part of the job, developing trust with the people we covered, so when a story broke we could make a telephone call and have it answered. I still treasure many of those relationships. I came to even like Mike Garrett and Kevin Malone.

How disappointing to know Times’ reporters are waiting around now for press releases to tell them what they should be telling us with great reporting.

Good news: Most morons live in Indy

By T.J. Simers

I don’t know about you, but I feel so much better knowing 65,576 morons have surfaced in one place.

And it’s a place where I most likely will not be visiting, so there’s very little chance of crossing paths with the morons. I have enough problems knowing some USC fans.

Is life so miserable, so absent of anything to do in Indianapolis that 65,576 people would show up for a Colts game the day after Christmas? Here were all these losers standing and waving little blue flags for an NFL team already eliminated from the playoffs and still trying to compete without the assistance of a quarterback.

They were cheering for a third-string quarterback for a team directed by a clueless coach who will never coach again after the next few weeks. Yeah, they were waving their little blue flags on national TV identifying themselves as the morons who paid money to be there, park there and take out a second mortgage on their homes to buy a beer.

The NFL has always tried to rip off the paying customers, making season ticket holders purchase preseason tickets for games that don’t matter. But now as a Christmas gift to the nation, the NFL should be commended for putting a face to the morons waving their little blue flags.

There must be nothing to do in Indy.

The coach who doesn’t know nothing started Nick Foles at quarterback while putting Matt Ryan in street clothes and making Sam Ehlinger the backup not deemed worthy enough to replace Foles who kept throwing the ball to the other team. You don’t have to take head coaching classes to know Foles has had it.

How bad must Ehlinger be? Heck, hire Hackett; he’s available.

The coach who don’t know nothing has already told Foles he will be starting the next game. How much is the owner of the Colts paying the coach who don’t know nothing to throw the Colts’ remaining games? You don’t play Foles again unless you are trying to lose, or you don’t know nothing.

I still don’t understand why the 65,576 morons, who call Indy home, didn’t boo until they went hoarse. They should have made their disgust known to a national TV audience so that they might secure a hint of redemption with those who think only morons live in Indy.

Were they content to sit there and hope Foles saved their day?

The game should have been played with no one in attendance, and how proud would we be of the citizens in Indy to know they were not going to be duped into cheering for a team with no chance to win.

What does it say about the Chargers that they were only 3 1/2 point favorites over a team that had absolutely no chance to win?

What does it say about me that I know this much about a Chargers-Colts game?

Who cares what LeBron says to LA media wimps

By T.J. Simers

Saw a clip of LeBron James chastising the Los Angeles media for not asking him about the Jerry Jones’ picture.

Then I saw Stephen A Screamer on TV supporting James and blasting the LA Media.

First of all, why doesn’t James pick on someone his own size. The LA Media is small, uninspired and totally overwhelmed while lacking confidence. There is no one who can stand up and represent the LA Media as a giant in the business.

Plaschke is home listening for ambulances and Hernandez is just home.

Can you name another writer in the LA market? You want to raise your hand and say, “Helene Elliott,” and have everyone laugh at you?

If you haven’t heard about the Jerry Jones’ photo, you really aren’t missing much. The Washington Post unearthed a picture of Jones taken when he was a sophomore in high school standing in the back of a group of White kids blocking the entrance to several Black students.

You probably weren’t born yet when the photo was taken. I was seven. I didn’t care then that he was photographed and I don’t care now. Had I been in the Lakers’ media room Wednesday night I would have responded to LeBron: “I don’t care what you have to say about a photo taken 65 years ago.”

LeBron’s point, though, was he is always asked about controversial things when they involve a Black person not faring well, singling out Kyrie Irving as a prime example.

Kyrie Irving was criticized for apparent anti-Semite sentiments. And he’s an NBA player.

Jerry Jones’ picture was only current while taken 65 years ago because the Post was doing a story on Jones’ legacy. And he’s an NFL owner.

Listening to the TV guys paid to argue, they said Jones hasn’t hired a Black head coach, didn’t react to Colin Kaepernick’s banishment from football, and he comments on everything else. He should denounce racism, the critics of Jones concluded.

Dak Prescott is biracial and is Jones’ quarterback, but I don’t know if that counts as having a Black quarterback for the guys on TV paid to argue. Assistant head coach Rob Davis is Black but is obviously not the head coach. The running backs, wide receivers and tight end coaches are all Black, but they are not the team’s head coach. Five of the team’s nine defensive coaches are Black.

Hasn’t Jones already denounced racism? I know, I’m White, and of course I would write that and I just did.

Kaepernick wasn’t that good of a quarterback, and everyone who wanted him to be signed and keep playing has no idea what they are talking about. The fact that Jones did not come to his immediate defense is a bogus argument. Jones knelt with his players, although one guy paid to argue on TV said he did so after some delay.

Jones commented on the Post picture, but it wasn’t to the satisfaction of the TV critics. Jones said he was a high school student moved by curiosity and caught gawking in the wrong place and time. I find that believable, but then I am White, and I would.

I see no reason why Jones has to denounce racism. If he does so, those asking for such a proclamation won’t believe him. The search for a reason to be outraged or remain outraqed is pretty strong.

Jones might be guilty of being an “old boy,” but not necessarily an old racist.

Maybe he was when he was 14 because he was from the south and we all know the stereotype. He talks like a Southerner, who might be living on a plantation. We have one still photo to make the case, and the mention of Kaepernick and not hiring a Black head coach as grounds for outrage today. I know, I couldn’t understand. And I don’t.

I don’t call White athletes “my brothers,” as Stephen A. Screamer does Black athletes, but it works for him.

As for the LA Media, it is already a collection of lightweights and picking on them is unfair. And especially after a night game when deadlines limit the number of reporters who have the time to listen to James wax poetic.

The LA Times ran a story from the Associated Press online about James’ challenging the media, although the Times had a reporter there covering the game. Who knows if the newspaper had someone at the post-game press conference especially knowing how streamlined the LA Times operation has become to save money.

The Associated Press has the task now of covering up the Times’ omissions, mistakes or attempts to save money.

Now I don’t know these days about reporters’ accessibility to someone like James at practice or before a game, but from my previous experience, I know big-name players like LeBron spend much of their time hiding from the media until after they have taken a shower following a game. That’s too late for someone working on deadline.

Had someone challenged LeBron or told him no one really cared what he had to say about Jones’ picture 65 years ago, the reporter might’ve gotten in trouble. Some of that sits with the audience, most sports fans very upset if a reporter challenges, and God forbid, irritates a sports star.

The athlete has the microphone and the podium, making it very difficult for reporters to muster the courage to challenge a superstar and maybe generate a rebuke by way of response. Had that happened Wednesday night it would have been shown everywhere on TV.

So, most reporters avoid potential contentious meetings today with athletes or lightweight reporters, preferring to stay home and sound tough on their computers. Like I am doing right now.


Volunteering to work for free

By T.J. Simers

I think we have pretty well established the fact the LA Times sports section stinks.

Plaschke writes everything in threes, a trite trick used by kids writing for their high school newspaper. Elliott can’t write and Hernandez seldom writes. The Angels coverage was nonexistent, and folks wonder why Ohtani got so little consideration for MVP.

In the last few months, the newspaper has dedicated a ton of space and financial resources to feature the mediocre writing of soccer writer Kevin Baxter, who is living it up in Qatar and writing about a team that has almost no chance to advance. And the tournament has just begun.

It’s frustrating because the LA Times once had a great sports section under the leadership of Bill Dwyre with writers like Murray, Ostler, Reilly, Heisler, Dufresne, Harvey, Florence, Hoffer, Glick, Newhan and Penner.

Even if you included the hacks now, you couldn’t find a lineup worthy of the $1 it costs to buy a six-month subscription to the digital product.

Take the Lakers’ coverage..

Can someone explain to me what Lakers’ beat reporter Dan Woike was trying to say in the first paragraph of Monday’s story: “Eventually, it’ll be harder for the Lakers to follow this path, the one that everyone seems to agree is the one with the best chance of leading the team to a successful season.”

Huh? What? Best path that everyone agrees on? Is he talking about getting rid of Westbrook again?

This is atrocious writing and I think we can all agree on that.

It gets worse: “But for now, with LeBron James on the bench recovering from a strained adductor muscle, there’s no doubt about what the team needs from Anthony Davis.”

Huh? What? First of all, what is a strained adductor? And is this the same Anthony Davis that had Plaschke writing: “Winless, helpless Lakers should consider trading Anthony Davis?” Who are we supposed to believe, Plaschke or Woike?

It gets even worse: “Him being great,” writes Woike, and hard to tell is he’s writing about James or Davis, “playing at a most-valuable-player caliber once again, is the clearest pathway to Western Conference relevance.”

So, I guess Woike has given up on Western Conference dominance and now is shooting for relevance. How the Lakers have fallen, their only hope the guy that Plaschke wants traded.

And that could be James or Davis, because Plaschke has called for each of them to be traded.

Meanwhile, Woike goes on to quote Davis, who explained the victory over San Antonio. Instead of Davis saying, “We beat one of the worst teams in the NBA,” Woike dutifully writes down Davis saying, “We just locked in.”

Gives me chills.

I remember a Rams’ cornerback, back in the day when they were real losers like they are again today, saying after Steve Young set a NFL record for passing yards against the Rams’ secondary, “We did some good things out there.”

I threw my notebook to the ground and started yelling in the Rams’ locker room. “Oh, my Lord, what a joke. I’m not going to write this crapola down.”

Pretty easy to understand why I don’t write for the LA Times any longer, although I sent an email to owner Patrick Soon-Shiong a month or so ago agreeing to write again for the Times so long as any paycheck I might earn was given to Dr. Noah Federman at Mattel Children’s Hospital for his study on mitigating damage to kids undergoing treatment for bone cancer.

I told Patrick I would work for nothing but wanted $200,000 a year donated to cancer treatment at Mattel’s.

I never got a response from Patrick, figuring most of his money was going to Qatar to pay for Baxter’s soccer expenses or they already had too many good writers.

Like the Lakers — the Times stinks

By T.J. Simers

Haven’t written in a while. Too depressed reading the LA Times sports section.

Thursday morning, they had their Lakers’ beat reporter writing that the Lakers had watched film of themselves provoking the players to talk amongst themselves. Who knew the Lakers talk to each other?

I wonder if any of them spoke up about the Lakers’ mismanagement under Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka.

The hard-hitting news story, written by the Times’ shameless Lakers beat reporter, concluded the Lakers will be a lot better now because they criticized each other.

As the Times’ headline read: “Tell-the-truth film session may just have been spark Lakers needed.” Then again it may not. That will be another silly story for another day.

I just want to know who thought it would be a good idea to have the Lakers watch themselves? Nothing like driving home the point what losers they are.

The Times reported, “the biggest gains the Lakers can hope to make are in terms of chemistry.”

They pay this guy who writes gibberish for the Times about the Lakers. How about winning, which seems like the biggest gain the Lakers could make. Maybe move up in the standings.

Maybe he models himself after Plaschke. Plaschke seldom interviews anyone, a cheap way to write a column and never leave his house. This week he predicted UCLA will beat USC.

Now imagine that; he’s been writing USC is the best team in the land and now he’s got them losing to the other team in L.A. How do you predict a team is so great and then advise everyone they really aren’t?

Plaschke has made a career of being wishy-washy and making ridiculous sports predictions and has taken delight in doing so. If USC loses, he will be correct. If USC wins, Plaschke will make the case they are national championship bound as he predicted.

There is no great insight into his prediction; he’s just guessing. You have seen him on Around the Horn and so you know he doesn’t have a sense of humor, so he’s not being funny.

I know a little something about predictions. I predicted UCLA and Karl Dorrell would beat USC in 2006, calling it a trap game and telling Uncle Pete Carroll in a radio interview two days before the game he was going to lose.

UCLA won 13-9, and an outraged Plaschke wrote it was the fault of the Trojans’ quarterback John David Booty, and one thing almost no writer does with any experience is single out a college kid to be shamed.

But Plaschke wrote: “This should have been Booty’s moment. He was equipped with quick drops and great wide receivers and an emerging running back. Yet the rush rattled him, the pressure rocked him and, in the end, the game was bigger than he was.”

Ouch. I wonder how long Booty carried that with him.

It’s not a surprise the Times is in free fall. In the last few weeks a UCLA running back wasn’t playing and without explanation. We have never been given a reason by the people who are paid to report on things like this.

The UCLA defensive coordinator missed last week’s game, the Bruins lost and unless I missed it, there has been no explanation what happened to the defensive boss who is still not available.

It’s just shoddy coverage and depressing how much readers are being deprived in the morning newspaper.

I’m sure there are many more examples of where the Times has come up short, but that means I would have to read it more often. No thanks.

USC Majors in Lost Perspective

By T.J. Simers

I’m constantly reminded how dumb USC fans are.

So now we know LenDale White received a duffel bag with $150,000 when he moved into an apartment while he was playing football for USC. He had a fancy car and who knows who was paying for the apartment.

I presume this was after Pete Carroll convinced the team White had jumped off a nearby building. I would think that stunt would be worth $150,000, paying White to be the stooge and motivate the troops.

Maybe it was Carroll who gave him the money, which would explain why he had them hand the ball off to White against Texas on fourth and two while keeping Reggie Bush off the field. Or was it offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin?

Bush’s parents supposedly got a house for him going to USC but that wouldn’t mean anything to the kid if there was $150,000 to be gained in cold cash and he was probably pouting.

At least that would make sense. Apparently, there was a lot of money to be made at USC on the hush-hush and for all we know the offensive linemen were getting none of it and they wouldn’t block for White on fourth and two.

Right now, it’s just an interesting tidbit kind of confirming what we already knew—USC was cheating. Holy Astros.

It also tells me USC has always had dumb supporters.

We’re led to believe that everyone now is making out at USC under something called NIL. It’s all NCAA legal-like; pay a quarterback whatever it takes to have him go to USC instead of Notre Dame and everybody’s fine with that. That would explain why USC has a quarterback and Notre Dame does not, Notre Dame alumni spending their money on the good of mankind rather than a Heisman candidate.

But what I want to know is why would anyone hand over cash to a college football player?

What does someone get out of it? Better players, simple as that?

Are 10 wins better than 8 and worth $150,000 or whatever it takes these days? Is football success that important in life? I know some people have tons of money, but how can you look in the mirror and feel good about yourself donating oodles of money to a fullback rather than a kid battling cancer?

I’ve seen the parents of sick kids just arriving at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA and they are already wiped out, maybe years of heartbreak ahead, life as most should know it impossible to live as they have to quit jobs so that they can make arrangements to be at their child’s side.

I witnessed a mother check in with her son, cancer found in his leg which would later be amputated, and she never left that hospital in the year it took to treat him.

And you are going to tell me money spent on Caleb Williams is well-spent because he deserves to be paid for bringing acclaim to a university and helping USC make more money. The players should get their fair share is how the argument goes, beyond a free ride at USC, of course.

It is sickening. Maybe the answer is it has always been done, LenDale White and Reggie Bush getting rewarded but under the table while now everyone makes out. What was Matt Leinart getting? Carson Palmer?

I just don’t get why football victories are worth that much? Look what it all did to Carroll and his players beyond Bush getting a Wendy’s commercial out if it where he plays the fool for yucks.

Call it the LenDale White Legacy, Williams coming to USC knowing it would ultimately pay dividends.

By now everyone should know USC has the kind of alumni who have lost all perspective, which makes the LenDale White story just what you would expect to surface when talking about the glory days.

Some unknown joker just dropping $150,000 into LenDale White’s lap and tell me anyone is surprised.

It’s such a sleazy place, but they do have a pretty good football team, if pretty good football teams are enough for you.